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Rémy Cointreau exits Passoã joint venture

French drinks group Rémy Cointreau has sold its shares in passionfruit liqueur Passoã to Lucas Bols in a deal worth €71.3 million (US$96m), marking the end of the firms’ joint venture.

Rémy Cointreau has sold its shares in Passoã to Lucas Bols

The sale concludes the Passoã SAS joint venture between the two companies, which was established in December 2016. The deal is also said to be in line with Rémy Cointreau’s brand evaluation strategy.

When the joint venture was created, it was noted that “in due time” Lucas Bols could buy all shares held by Rémy Cointreau.

During Lucas Bols’ full-year 2019/20 results in May, the company said it expected the Passoã acquisition to be completed by December 2020.

At the time, Lucas Bols said it was in the process of moving Passoã’s production from Rémy Cointreau’s Angers site in France to Avandis in the Netherlands. From January 2021 onwards, Passoã is expected to be bottled at Avandis.

Throughout the joint venture, Lucas Bols performed the day-to-day management, ran the brand and fully controlled Passoã SAS. As a result, Passoã’s sales performance was consolidated in Lucas Bols’ financial report.

Huub van Doorne, CEO of Lucas Bols, said: “We are very pleased with the completion of the transaction and I would like to thank Rémy Cointreau for the pleasant and constructive cooperation during the past four years.

“In December 2016 we added Passoã, a truly iconic brand, to our portfolio, and we have nurtured the brand from the first day onwards. The brand has performed very well, also in today’s challenging times. The brand successfully drives the Porn Star Martini trend, the number one cocktail in the UK. Also Passoã’s fresh mixed drink proposition is contributing to the brand’s success in combination with the expansion of distribution.

“All in all, Passoã fully delivered on its promise and we look forward to further fuelling its success.”

The purchase price of €71.3m is financed through an acquisition bank facility and cash. According to Lucas Bols, the payment of the purchase price does not affect its net debt position.

In Lucas Bols’ financial results for the six months to 30 September 2020, Passoã performed ‘strongly’ boosted by the UK and the US.

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